Celebrating Staff at Priory Court
Here at Avery Healthcare we are always aware that our hardworking and compassionate staff provide an excellent level of care to our residents in every one of our homes.
Sarah Longstaff, Senior Care Assistant at Priory Court Care Home, is no exception to this. Sarah has been at Priory Court for 15 years, proving herself as a dedicated and caring individual. She recently took to our social media to let us know about her experience at the home and we decided to talk with her to find out more about her role and time at Priory Court.
Hi Sarah, would you mind telling us a little about yourself?
My role is Senior Care Assistant here at Priory Court Care Home. I’m also the current Infection Control Champion. I’ve been here for 15 years now, as I started straight after my work experience!
What made you interested in care?
I had always wanted to go into the care sector from a young age. I had been doing health and social care at Stamford College and I had Priory Court as my work placement. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, I asked for application form whilst undertaking my work placement as I absolutely loved the place. I love spending times with the residents and finding out about their lives. Priory Court feels like home and I love coming to work.
(Sarah at work, reliving some favourite memories with a resident at Priory Court)
What does Priory Court offer you in particular?
Since Avery acquired Priory Court, there have been many more learning avenues. For me, it didn’t stop at an NVQ. I have just started the advanced carers course, and am very excited about this!
There is lots of in-house training available and chances to ask questions. All the staff are very supportive that way. My husband is also in the forces, so they’re all very understanding about helping to arrange my shifts around my childcare.
Can you talk us through what a ‘typical’ day at work entails?
I work on a shifts, which vary from 8am – 2pm, 8am – 8pm, and 2-8pm, but I’ve also done a few night shifts in the past.
When I first come in, we have handover to cover anything that has happened before my shift started. Then I go around and say good morning to all the residents, which is lovely, before I go and do the medication rounds. If the doctor or GP is in, I tend to go around with them too. Then I help out in the dining room with assisting with meals and giving any further support to residents. I also assist with personal care, and I really enjoy being with the residents, I’m always busy!
I like that every day is different and there is always new challenges. I always greet the day with a smile and I am always singing whilst I am walking round.
Wow! What do you do to relax after such a busy day?
Being a mum of two children, I don’t really have much time to not be busy! We love to go out on family walks together or go biking to the forest. Then we go camping in Cornwall for holidays.
Could you tell us one of your favourite moments at Priory Court?
One of my favourite moments was when we were celebrating a resident turning 106 years old! She has a great sense of humour and I really enjoyed listening to her talking about her life. Her photo reached 1000s of people on Facebook.
I also love my memories with another resident talking about his RAF live and the places he had been. He loved to sing along to Frank Sinatra so I would often have a sing along with him.
(Edna celebrating her 106th Birthday)
Is there something special you’ve learnt from a resident?
There’s one residents who I love to talk to as she’s spent a lot of time in Singapore being a forces wife like me. She used to describe the most wonderful dresses that she had made for her while she was in Singapore! We like to talk about family. She also often had to leave places to be with her husband, but it was worth it all for love.
Another resident, who is sadly no longer with us, used to tell us the most fantastic stories of his time in the Air Forces. He used to talk about it for hours! Neill, my husband, used to talk to him about Wittering and how much it has changed since this wonderful man was there. I would bring him in copies of the Wittering View magazine to read.
You can learn a lot from them if you actually take the time to listen. The lives they’ve had and places they have seen…lots will talk about their times during the war.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I can’t imagine doing anything else. I always say this is where my roots lie. Priory Court is one big family – I will be here for many years to come!
Sarah regularly supports and comments on the activities of Priory Court Care Home on their Facebook page, which you can find here.